Punk's Reviews > Dreamsnake

Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre
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it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy
Read 2 times. Last read July 4, 2010 to July 7, 2010.

Snake is a healer on her proving year, travelling the vaguely post-apocalyptic landscape (there's always a vague apocalypse) to treat illness and injury using the venom of her snakes, but when her dreamsnake is killed she must find a new source for the extremely rare creature or she will no longer be able to work as a healer.

This reads like an Anne McCaffrey book, except with more restraint. It's melodramatic -- the girl's name is Snake! only three other healers have ever been given that name!! she rides a tiger-pony she genetically engineered herself!!! It gets a bit ridiculous after a while. Oh, did I mention she uses "thee" and "thou" to address her snakes? For no reason that is ever, ever explained?

I could live with all that -- I have read and enjoyed many Anne McCaffrey books -- but this isn't very exciting. The story meanders as Snake bounces from one problem to another without any real sense of risk or urgency, and the world-building is weak. Why are there alien domes? What's the story behind the snake healing?

Here's the other major problem: there's a lot of ableist language. "Crippled" is tossed around freely, and a big part of the story involves a "crazy" following Snake. Apparently "crazies" are a common threat in the desert, though why is something else that's never explained.

This society does have an open attitude toward sex (though somehow this leads to rape being a complete surprise, as if the two are in any way related), and many of the desert cultures live in three-people family groups. It's always nice to see something other than m/f couples as the standard.

Two stars. This is more the story of Snake than the story of snake healing, and I wasn't all that interested in her. Let's just say I wouldn't have been surprised if she'd had violet eyes.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 4, 2010 – Started Reading
July 4, 2010 – Shelved
July 4, 2010 –
page 27
8.65% "I wish Younger Punk could explain why she highlighted all the lines where the narrator's talking to her snakes. Was I planning on writing a paper on the use of Thou when addressing reptiles?"
July 5, 2010 –
page 36
11.54% "This is how much this book seems like something off ff.net: Snake has a tiger-pony named Squirrel."
July 7, 2010 – Finished Reading
August 26, 2012 – Shelved as: fantasy

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Steven Couldn't agree with you more.

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